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Reports: UCF Transfer Quarterback Dillon Gabriel to Visit Ole Miss

Reports: UCF Transfer Quarterback Dillon Gabriel to Visit Ole Miss

OXFORD, Miss. – It will be an exciting weekend in the Ole Miss football offices. Not only will the Rebels learn their probable New Year’s Six Bowl destination, but the campus will also be hosting a potential member of the 2022 team.

Dillon Gabriel, who entered the transfer portal after playing two-plus seasons at UCF, will visit Ole Miss to gauge mutual interest of the quarterback joining the football program, according to a report from Brandon Marcello. 

The Rebels are looking for a successor to Matt Corral who will forgo his senior season to enter the NFL Draft where he is expected to be a first-round pick. That will leave Luke Altmyer and Kinkead Dent to vie for the starting position this spring.

The Lebby Connection

It will not be complete unfamiliar territory for Gabriel when he visits. He will be able to meet with Ole Miss offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby who helped recruit Gabriel from Mililani, Hawaii, and served as his offensive coordinator for a year in Orlando.

That gives Gabriel the advantage of being familiar with the offensive schemes the Rebels have employed since Lebby’s arrival.

Gabriel’s UCF Career

Gabriel only played in three games this season after suffering a broken collarbone on the final play of the Louisville game, but he completed 70-of-102 passes for 814 yards and nine touchdowns. He averaged 271.33 yards per game.

The 6-foot, 186-pounder started 12 games as a freshman for the Knights, ten games as a sophomore and three this season.

Dillon led UCF to wins over Boise State and Bethune-Cookman this season before being injured in the loss to Louisville.  The Knights finished the regular season with an 8-4 record. Last season UCF finished 6-4, including a loss to Brigham Young in the Roofclaim.com Boca Raton Bowl.

In 2019, Gabriel led the Knights to a 10-3 record with a 48-25 win over Marshall in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl.

In his first two seasons at UCF, Gabriel threw just 11 interceptions in 811 attempts. That .014 ratio is the best in school history over two seasons. He is only the third quarterback at UCF to throw for 3,000 yards in two seasons, joining Duante Culpepper and Blake Bortles who were each first-round picks in the NFL Draft.

In his UCF career, Gabriel ended with 8,014 passing yards and 70 touchdowns.

Apart from his familiarity with Lebby and the offensive scheme, the 2018 Gatorade Hawaii High School Player of the Year would not be in uncharted territory in Mississippi. Former Ole Miss quarterback Jordan Ta’amu was also a native of Hawaii and enjoyed a tremendous career in Oxford.

Gabriel is joined in the transfer portal by an impressive list of quarterbacks that includes: Spencer Rattler (Oklahoma), Miles Brennan (LSU), Chubba Purdy (Florida State), Harrison Bailey (Tennessee), Jacob Zeno (Baylor), Tommy DeVito (Syracuse), Charlie Brewer (Utah) and Brian Mauer (Tennessee).

About The Author

Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers. He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio. A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series. Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time. He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk. Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

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